FYI - I'll be out at O'Reilly's OSCON next week in Portland talking about voice mashups...

OSCON 2008 If any of you reading this will be out at O'Reilly's OSCON Open Source Convention next week (July 21-25) in Portland, Oregon, I (Dan York) will be there giving a talk on Wednesday on "Mashing Up Voice and the Web Through Open Source and XML". Here's the abstract:
With over 4.5 billion mobile and fixed phones out there as of November 2007, the phone represents the most ubiquitous user interface out there. As “mashups” on the Web let us quickly and easily access information from multiple data sources, how do we extend those mashups to the world of the phone? How do we bring the old world of voice and telephony into the new world of the Web, social networks, and social media? And how do we do that using open source tools and open standards? In this session, Dan York will introduce participants to the world of “voice mashups” and how applications can be quickly built on top of open source and open standards. Topics covered will include:
  • The technology and architecture behind voice mashups
  • The open standards in voice of VoiceXML, Call Control XML (CCXML), the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), and new standards emerging from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
  • Open source tools related to voice including Asterisk and
  • How to quickly build voice applications that interact with web sites, databases, and even new services like Twitter.
During the session, York will demonstrate multiple applications and provide participants with sample code, tips, and pointers so they can return home and get started building voice applications with open source and open standards.

If any of you will be attending, please do drop me a note as I always enjoy meeting up with people who read this blog. If you are not attending but are interested, it's not too late... you can still register at the OSCON site. Should be a great convention for those interested in open source development. The schedule is pretty amazing as it truly has a collection of some of the best folks out there in the open source world. (The convention starts on Wednesday with Monday and Tuesday being for tutorials.) I'm definitely looking forward to the event!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Open Web Awards - What sites would you nominate for "Applications and Widgets"?

200711281322What sites would you nominate for "Applications and Widgets" for the Open Web Awards? As I described earlier, this site is one of the places you can nominate candidate sites. Please do so by leaving a comment with the word "NOMINATE" at the beginning followed by a dash and the site name. For instance "NOMINATE -".

This category is by far my favorite and I'm looking forward to seeing what sites people nominate. As noted in the post:

Late last year, Newsweek predicted that 2007 would be the year of the widget. Boy, were they right! Aside from the usual buzz that surrounds the likes of Google, Facebook, and MySpace, this year was dominated by stories of companies coming out of nowhere with distributed applications to become household (well, at least Web 2.0 household) names. In fact, even USA Today has caught on to the trend, highlighting the rise of companies like iLike, Slide, and RockYou in today’s edition.

While flash widgets for things like slideshows and scrapbooks were the big success story in the first half of the year, much of the focus in the space shifted to Facebook applications this summer, with developers building tools ranging from the trivial to attempts to turn the social network into a serious business tool. Then, just last month Google threw its hat in the ring with the announcement of OpenSocial, an effort to align virtually all of the other major social networks against Facebook in application development.

In short, this should be a wide open category with dozens if not hundreds of companies that feed into the social networking ecosystem to consider nominating.

What applications and widgets do you like best? Please feel free to make multiple nominations - and if someone else has already nominated your site, please feel free to leave another comment with the same nomination. ( has asked us to pass along the number of nominations we receive for each site.

Let the nominating begin! (Nominations will be closed at 11:59PM Pacific time on Tuesday, December 4th)

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Joining in the Open Web Awards - nominate your candidates in the posts that follow...

200711281322As readers are aware, I've been writing both here and over on my Disruptive Telephony blog about "mashups" and how the future of communication belongs to application platforms, open standards and such. has long been one of the main sites I've followed to stay up on what is happening in the rapidly evolving world of mashups and applications and so when they announced the creation of the OpenWeb Awards I thought I'd join in helping promote the awards. There are now 30 blogs joining in, including many that are much more popular than I am and whom I read all the time! As the site indicates, the Open Web Awards are about:

The Open Web Awards, hosted by, are the first ever online, open collaboration awards event, to recognize the best online communities representing web 2.0. This unique approach to an online event is about communities, so we've taken a collaborative approach to finding a winner, enabling other blogs and websites to take part.

I have committed to soliciting nominations and votes for the following categories (FOLLOW THE LINKS to nominate a site in a particular category):

1. Mainstream and Large Scale Networks
2. Applications and Widgets
3. Social News and Social Bookmarking
4. Social Search
13. Niche and Miscellaneous Social Networks

And I will shortly be posting notes about each of those soliciting nominations. PLEASE POST YOUR NOMINATIONS IN THE POSTS FOR THE INDIVIDUAL CATEGORIES so that the Mashable folks can easily find the nominations.

Thanks for your participation and assistance.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Steve Rubel uses Tumblr to build an aggregated "Lifestream" of all his online content (something I've done with Feedburner, Yahoo!Pipes)

image How do you make it easy to find writing that you do online when it is scattered all over a zillion sites and services?  Over on his blog, in a post called "Identity Through Online Lifestreams", Steve Rubel talks about his recent experiment doing exactly that with Tumblr.  Tumblr is a service that lets you create a "tumblelog" (which is essentially a mixed-media blog) and allows you to import RSS feeds of various other sites and services.  Steve has done this (in part, apparently, with directions from Gina Trapani over at LifeHacker) and the result can be seen now at: All his blog posts, Twitter posts (aka "tweets"), Flickr uploads, etc., etc.  Tumblr is of course not the only way to do this, but it certainly seems to have a nice interface to do so. 

I did this myself through a different means back in January when I split my 3-year-old single blog into the current network of separate blogs (and then later added Twitter, etc.).  My first attempt was to use the Feedburner Advertiser Network to create my own "Feedburner network" that aggregates all my feeds into a single "Dan York All Feeds" RSS stream.  This works in that I have the combined RSS feed and then also a web page with links to the blogs and the most recent entry from each.  It's not as pretty as what Tumblr seems to be able to produce and as I note in the blog entry, it was a good bit of a pain to set up.  It helps that I use Feedburner for all my various feeds.

However, creating your own Feedburner network only works with Feedburner-managed feeds.  What about things like Twitter RSS feeds?  Now the kludgey way would be to create Feedburner feeds for those fees and then pull them into the one aggregated feed.

Instead, my second technique back in March was to use Yahoo!Pipes to do this and I did so:  Now, there was a dating issue that was subsequently fixed, and I never bothered to wrap it back into a Feedburner feed, but it works to combine my blog feeds with Twitter.  (And since my Facebook status updates are feeding into Twitter as well, they wind up in this feed, too.)  Now, from a display point-of-view, Yahoo!Pipes may again not be as nice as Tumblr pages, but it does allow for easy aggregation of feeds.

Today, you could apparently also do this same type of thing with Microsoft Popfly or Google's Mashup Editor (or so I am told... not having used either service I can't say for certain, but I am told they would do this).

I will say, though, that Tumblr does make it pretty drop-dead easy to do. In literally less than 5 minutes, I had all my various feeds set to go into:  (Obviously it is starting now and so content will only appear there from this point forward.)

The one thing that Tumblr does not (yet, anyway) seem to have the ability to filter feeds based on certain criteria.  For instance, I write over at the Voice of VoIPSA group weblog, but I really only want to include my postings there in my lifestream - and there is only one RSS stream.  This is something that I can do over at Yahoo!Pipes (and of course if I wanted to I could create a filtered feed at Yahoo!Pipes and then bring that into Tumblr!).

In any event, Tumblr certain looks to be an easy way to aggregate one's "lifestream" of online content.  Kudos to Steve for pointing it out and showing how he used it.  I liked one of his points:

I really like that there is a single place attached to my name that rolls up all of the content that I am publishing online. I also like that in just a couple of clicks I can set up a river of news that I can share at the domain of my choosing.

This latter point is a key one.  Steve has mapped to this Tumblr page.  I could easily do that with some variant off of The nice thing with that is that you are not dependent upon the success or failure of the company,!  If Tumblr sometime ceases to exist, or starts charging and you don't want to pay, or has performance problems, or is acquired by someone else, or.... whatever...  because you control the domain you can simply point it to another site that lets you do domain mapping.  Cool stuff.

SocialNetworkDevCamp - an unconference for developers interested in mashups and APIs in social media tools...

imageWhat are you doing on September 8th and 9th, 2007?  If  you are in the San Francisco Bay area (or can get there), and more precisely Richmond, California (a bit north of Oakland and Berkeley), it appears that there will now be an "unconference" called "SocialNetworkDevCamp" with the purpose:

SocialNetworkDevCamp will focus on API and Widget development from Facebook, Twitter, Pownce, Linked In and others. The camp will also start the process of identifying open APIs and data structures which would facilitate the creation of open standards for social networking.

Very cool to see.... and hopefully it will stimulate a good bit of discussion and action around the potential mashups that can occur between all these various services.  "Open standards for social networking" would also be very good to see!

If are interested in attending, just edit the wiki page and add yourself to the list of participants (or volunteers).

(Tip of the hat to Julian Bond for raising this issue in a Skype groupchat focused on mashups.)